Millie & Suzy

Follow our walking adventures around the Cotswolds & beyond


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A Walk Around Malmesbury and the River Avon

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Malmesbury, Wiltshire – June 2016

 

For this walk we used: Pathfinder Guides More Cotswolds (Published 2015) Walk 1: Malmesbury and the River Avon. Distance: 2 miles.

This is the shortest walk in the book, and makes a perfect trip out on a lazy Summer’s day. It could be combined with a riverside picnic and perhaps a visit to the 7th Century Benedictine Abbey, and the Abbey House Gardens.

The starting point is at Malmesbury’s Old Station Road car park, which is the Long Stay car park. The first 2 hours parking are free.

We couldn’t immediately find the kissing-gate leading to the tree-lined path alongside the river. If you cross over the footbridge towards the Abbey House Gardens you are going the wrong way! We entered Conygre Mead Nature Reserve, and enjoyed winding our way along the attractive woodland path beside the River Avon.

The route follows the various branches of the river along footpaths through and around the edge of the town, passing delightful water meadows bursting with yellow Buttercups.

At the end, we climbed the steps to the town centre where we were greeted by Malmesbury Abbey. Although it is now only a third of its original size, it is still an impressive sight. On returning to the car, we crossed the footbridge and noticed a Heron fishing in the river. It was a lovely end to the day.

Our Rating: 4/5

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Castle Combe, Wiltshire – The Prettiest Village in England

 

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Castle Combe Wiltshire – November 2015

For this walk we used: Pathfinder Guides – The Cotswolds (Published 2009) Walk 2: Castle Combe. Distance: 4 miles.

We don’t normally go for the short walks in guide books as we like to be outside for as long as possible, but we started out late and as the light now fades a lot earlier it provided the perfect solution.

The far south-eastern fringes of the Cotswolds overlap into Wiltshire, and this is where you will find the attractive village of Castle Combe. It is said to be the prettiest village in England, in the same league as Bibury and Broadway, and we could immediately see why. Golden coloured stone cottages and inns lie in a gentle wooded valley. Old stone bridges cross the river,  and a medieval market place and church make Castle Combe a beautiful picture postcard village.

The walk began at a free visitor’s car park uphill from Castle Combe. It is not immediately obvious which way to walk to the village, but as we had the guide book we knew  to head downhill and turn right at the t-junction.

There was a tempting looking display of cakes set up outside one of the cottages in the main street, with an honesty box. I love the idea of this, first having come across it on the roadside in Australia where we bought some “Lady finger” bananas from a little wooden hut – they’ve got to be the most delicious bananas in the world. We put £2 through the letterbox and shared a slice of homemade chocolate fudge cake. It was so good.

We walked along the side of the valley above By Brook river through attractive scenery, climbing stone stiles and passing through gates into more valleys and woodland. It was idyllic until we began to hear the sound of racing cars whizzing around the track at Castle Combe circuit, which for me slightly spoiled the last section of the walk – otherwise it would be 5/5.

Our Rating: 4/5

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